How To Make Your Smartphone More Secure

by Tiger Mobiles - , Last Updated on December 15, 2016, How To Guides

Mobile security is important, it really is as simple as that. Modern day smartphones carry all kinds of information, from our names and phone numbers to our home address and frequently visited locations. Then there are social media accounts, bank access, shopping apps that link to your credit card, the list really is endless. Not to secure this information would be foolish, and that’s why we’re here with our top tips for mobile security. If you want your data to be safe, then read on.

What Are We Protecting Against?

We’re not out to scare you, but there are significant risks out there to your smartphone and data. Obviously, the first of these is simple theft or loss of your phone. But there are also viruses and malware, both of which can easily be downloaded to your phone through rogue apps or clicking links in emails. There are fake apps out there, even in trustworthy app stores. And the new big niche in mobile data theft revolves around mobile banking malware (yeah, that’s a virus in your banking app), and ransomware (where your phone is accessed and locked down until you pay a ransom).

It’s easy to think of things like this as stuff that happens to other people. But they’re not. Ransomware, malware, viruses, hacking, this kind of thing happens to people every day. People like you. But there are ways that you can protect your device, and they’re not as tough as you might think…

Choose Apps Carefully

First up, choose your apps with care. Always use a trustworthy app store (Google Play or the Apple App Store) and do your research. Take the time to read through the app description, find out what the app actually does and which permissions it requires. And maybe, more importantly, read the reviews. Click through so that you see all the reviews of an app (not just the featured or top rated ones) and read a selection. If the majority of other customers have been satisfied, chances are that the app is fine. And if you’re serious about security, don’t jailbreak your iPhone or root your Android, stick to the official channels for the operating system and app updates…

Click That Link

The majority of nasty stuff on your mobile (adware, ransomware, malware, viruses, and what have you) is transmitted through some kind of messaging, whether that’s SMS, email or instant messaging services. Fortunately, the villains need your permission to enter your system, so generally they supply a link in a message or email that you need to click on. Don’t click on the link and they’re denied entry. That means that one of the easiest ways to avoid nasty stuff is quite simply not clicking on embedded links unless you’re absolutely sure of what you’re doing…

Log Out, Log Out, Log Out…

We’re going to inconvenience you greatly here and tell you that you need to log out of all your apps when they’re not in use. Closing out of Facebook? Then log out. Finished shopping on Amazon? Log out. Read your emails? Log out. We get it, this is kind of a pain, but by logging out of all your accounts your denying access to not only yourself but to everyone else as well. Whether your phone goes missing or someone hacks into it using malware, the perp can’t access an account that’s logged out. Use your best judgement, but wherever possible keep all your accounts logged off.

Disconnect…

Okay, okay, one of the greatest things about having a smartphone is being in constant contact and always connected. But by disconnecting things that you’re not using, Bluetooth, WiFi, mobile data, you’re closing down routes that can be used to access your phone by others. We’re not saying that you need to be always cut off, but if you’re not using the internet or your Bluetooth device right now, say because you’re sitting at work in front of your computer, what’s the harm in switching them off? Think of it like locking the doors and window in your home…

Keep Updated

It can be very tempting to ignore those update notifications that appear on your status bar, but you really shouldn’t. Both app and OS updates tend to patch holes, defend against recently found security issues, and generally make apps and operating systems more stable and secure. Believe it or not, developers do try to stay on top of security issues, and they offer updates to not only give you a better user experience but also to give you more security. So update as often as you’re told to, you’ll be safer that way.

Protect Your Phone

There are two ways of protecting your phone. Firstly, you can download and install security software, an anti-virus programme for your phone. It’s arguable how effective these are on mobiles, but if you’re downloading a free anti-virus app then you’ve got nothing to lose. Something like MalwareBytes or Avast might be the difference between your device being compromised or not, so they’re worth the download.

However, all the anti-virus protection in the world isn’t going to help if your phone gets stolen. So the big lesson here is to physically protect your phone. Thieves look for easy opportunities, so don’t give them that chance. Don’t keep your mobile in the back pocket of your pants, and don’t leave it lying around on your desk. Lock your mobile in a drawer when you’re not using it, and keep it in an inside pocket if you’re out and about. You don’t need to tape it to your body or anything, but if it’s out of sight, chances are that a thief is just going to move on to easier pickings…

Nobody wants their mobile stolen or data compromised. And the easiest way to prevent this is simply to be careful and make sensible decisions. We can’t eliminate the risk completely, but b following our tips you’re less likely to suffer the consequences…

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